Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani

On May 7, 2014 the spiritual Master of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order passed from this world. Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani was loved by thousands, if not millions, of people around the world. What makes a man so beloved by so many?

Shaykh Nazim's house was never empty of visitors. A hundred or more visitors passed through his house each day.  Everyone was welcome.  Everyone was fed.  There was no charge.

His words taught us how to be more forgiving, merciful, compassionate, and giving of charity.  His actions showed us a perfect example of his teachings. His essence was a light that shone brightly in a troubled world.

At the end of the road in that remote village in Cyprus, where he is now buried,  there is still a continuous flow of people who come to pay tribute to a man who changed their lives forever.

His Life   (April 21, 1922 - May 7, 2014)

He was born in Larnaca, Cyprus, on 23rd of April 1922, which is Sunday, the 26th of Sha'ban, 1340 H. His lineage from his father's side traces its roots to Sayiddina 'Abdul Qadir Jilani, founder of the Qadiri Order. His lineage from his mother goes back to Sayiddina Jalaluddin Rumi, founder of the Mevlevi Order. He is Hassani-Hussaini, related to the Prophet Muhammad (s) through the lineages of his grandfathers to the Family of the Prophet (s). From his father he received the Qadiri Tariqat. From his mother's grandmother he received the Mevlevi Tariqat.

From his childhood on Cyprus he was always going to listen to his grandfather, who was a shaykh of the Qadiri Tariqat, to learn its discipline and its spirituality. Extraordinary signs and events appeared in him from an early age. His conduct and manners were always perfect: he never fought with anyone nor argued with anyone. He was always smiling and patient.

In 1940 he began studying Chemical Engineering in the University of Istanbul, in the Bayazit District. At the same time he was progressing in his Shari'ah knowledge, in Arabic language through his shaykh, Shaykh Jamaluddin al-Alaasooni, who died in 1955. He received his degree in Chemical Engineering. He was considered a genius among his colleagues. His university professors encouraged him to go into research. His response was, "I have no feeling for modern science. My heart is always drawn to the spiritual science."

In the year 1944, the young Shaykh Nazim moved to Tripoli by bus. The bus took him to the harbor and dropped him there. He was a stranger there, not knowing anyone. He was looking here and there until he saw someone coming from the opposite side of the street. That person was a shaykh, Shaykh Munir al-Malek, the mufti of Tripoli. At the same time he was the shaykh of all Sufi Orders in the city. He approached him and said, "are you Shaykh Nazim?" Shaykh Munir said, "I saw a dream with the Prophet (s) saying to me 'One of my grandsons is coming to Tripoli.'" He showed me your appearance and told me to look for you in this area. He told me to take care of you."

From Tripoli, he managed to get to Damascus, after some harrowing experiences in wartorn Syria. There he went directly in search of his shaykh, Abdullah ad-Daghestani.

Shaykh Abdullah ad-Daghestani

He says of that first encounter with his shaykh:

"As I approached to knock on the door, the shaykh opened the door. He said, 'Welcome my son, Nazim Effendi.' His unusual appearance immediately attracted me. I had never seen such a shaykh before. Light poured from his face and forehead. Warmth was coming from his heart and from the brilliant smile on his face. He took me upstairs, climbing up to his room telling me 'we were waiting for you.'"

After taking initiation from Shaykh Abdullah ad-Daghestani, and receiving some of the training of the Order, Shaykh Nazim was immediately ordered to move back to his homeland of Cyprus. On the order of his shaykh, he immediately set out for the land he had left some five years back.

Shaykh Nazim began to spread the spiritual guidance and the Islamic teachings in Cyprus, where countless followers were coming to him and accepting the Naqshbandi Order. Unfortunately it was at a time when all religion was banned in Turkey, and as he was in the Turkish community of Cyprus, religion was entirely banned there as well. Even the calling the Adhan was banned.

His first action after reaching his hometown was to go to the mosque and call the adhan in Arabic. He was immediately jailed and stayed in jail for one week. As soon as he was released, he went to the big mosque of Nicosia and called the adhan from its minaret. This made the officials very angry and they filed a lawsuit against him. As he was awaiting the lawsuit, he used to go all over Nicosia and nearby villages calling the adhan from the minarets. Due to his doing that, many, many cases were raised against him. Finally there were 112 cases pending against him. Lawyers advised him to stop calling the adhan, but he said, "No I cannot. Spirituality must be spread."

His Travels

During his years in Cyprus, Shaykh Nazim was traveling all over Cyprus, Lebanon, Iskenderia, Cairo, Saudi Arabia and many other places to teach the tariqat. He moved back to Damascus in 1952, when he got married to one of the disciples of Grandshaykh, Hajji Amine Adil. From that time he was living in Damascus, and every year he used to visit Cyprus for three months: Rajab, Sha'ban and Ramadan. His family lived in Damascus with him and would travel with him to Cyprus when he went there. He had two daughters and two sons.

Shaykh Nazim used to go every year for pilgrimage as the Hajj leader for the convoy of Cypriot pilgrims. He made 27 pilgrimages in all.


In 1974, he began to visit all of Europe in a similar manner, travelling every year from Cyprus to London by plane and back overland, by car, and later by plane. He was and continues meeting all kinds of people from every land and speaking every language, from all different faiths and all different cultures, 

United States

In 1991, he made his first journey to America, where in his first trip he visited over 15 states. He met many people of different faiths, beliefs and religions: Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sufis, and other different beliefs: Sikhs, Bhuddists, Hindus, Bahais and New Age beliefs. This resulted in establishing over 15 centers of the Naqshbandi Order in North America. He made a second visit in 1993 and travelled to many cities and towns, visiting mosques, churches, synagogues, and temples. Through him, over 10,000 people in North America have entered Islam and have taken initiation in the Naqshbandi Order.

Far East

In 1986, he began his trips to the Far East: Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Where he visited every major city in these countries. He was welcomed in them by their sultans, presidents, MPs, government officials and of course the common people everywhere.

Shaykh Nazim's mission to the West has resulted in the establishment of Sufi centers throughout Europe and North America. 

His Seclusions

Shaykh Nazim's first seclusion by the order of Shaykh 'Abdullah Daghestani was in the year 1955, in Sueileh, Jordan. There he spent six months in seclusion. There he attracted thousands and thousands of disciples, so that Sueileh and it surrounding villages, Ramta and 'Amman were full of the disciples of the shaykh. Scholars, officials and so many people were attracted to his light and his personality.

Many times Shaykh Nazim was ordered to go into seclusion which varied in length from 40 days to one year. He did many seclusions in Medina, the city of the Prophet (s).


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